The idea of a common platform for election candidates in Nagaland is not new. The concept has been around for years, but the lack of enthusiasm among political parties and candidates made it difficult to implement. However, with the 2023 Nagaland assembly elections just around the corner, there seems to be a shift in the attitude of political parties and candidates towards such an exercise.
In the past week, four assembly constituencies - Ghaspani II, Phek, Southern Angami I, and Tenning - have organized common platforms where candidates from different parties have come together to place their agendas in front of the public. The candidates also had the opportunity to interact with each other on their political agendas.
The fact that common platforms are now being organized in Nagaland is a positive development for the state's democratic process. The platforms provide an opportunity for candidates to present their ideas and visions to the voters, which can help voters make informed choices when they cast their vote.
Moreover, common platforms can foster a sense of accountability among candidates. When candidates come together to present their ideas and plans, they are more likely to be held accountable for their promises. This can lead to a more engaged and informed electorate that is better equipped to hold their representatives accountable.
The rhetoric on clean elections has been a long-standing issue in Nagaland, with various stakeholders advocating for fair and transparent polls. However, it is the common platforms that provide a tangible and real-world exercise to accomplish this goal.
Such exercises can help to mitigate the risks associated with secret campaigns and behind-the-scenes lobbying. These practices are often used to sway voters and can result in a lack of transparency and accountability. By contrast, common platforms encourage candidates to be more open and transparent about their agendas, and to engage with the public in a more structured and transparent manner.
When it comes to evaluating politicians and their agendas, the people can look at the clarity and feasibility of their policy proposals, and whether they have a concrete plan to deliver on their promises. Additionally, the public can consider how well a candidate responds to tough questions, and how they handle criticism or opposition.
It is very easy to mudsling through press conferences, statements and interviews because sadly, there is rarely any critical pushback from the media on the often high and mighty claims made by our politicians. The scenario changes when their competitors are face to face and in a public setting where the people can gauge their temperament, their critical thinking, and their ability to present ideas.
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